Home Theater

HDTVs, projectors, and surround sound systems.

Scott Wilkinson ... CES 2020 Pregame

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1657

CES begins next week and Scott joins Leo for the 16th straight year to talk about what we can expect to see. In fact, they met at CES during the first week of the Tech Guy 16 years ago. What can we expect? Scott says we'll see more 8K displays, which Leo says is rather silly. Just how realistic do we need TVs to get to real life? Scott says that while resolution is one consideration, there is a greater sense of depth, thanks to HDR and video processing. So the depth of field looks more realistic. Upscaling will look much better as well, like going from HD to 8K. Or 4K to 8K.

Scott Wilkinson ... stitched together

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1654

Scott saw Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and he was a bit disappointed. He thought it was "stitched together" as a story, and he didn't think the Dolby Cinema was as good as he's seen before. He also thought it was too damn loud. The deep black of space was simply missing. So it was disappointing. But he does say that JJ Abrams and his team did a great job incorporating footage of Carrie Fisher that wasn't used in the last two films so that it worked rather seamless. Scott also said that the music was virtually nonstop throughout the entire film. 

How Can I Play Music To All My Rooms?

Echo

Episode 1652

David from Anaheim, CA

David wants to stream music to multiple rooms in his house. MultiRoom music is a challenge because it has to sync from room to room with no latency. But it is doable with Amazon Echo. He can get a dot in each room and add some speakers and it'll work. The Echo is smart enough that he can even command it to play in different rooms as well. The Amazon Echo Input connects to one's own speakers, and right now it's only $10.

Scott Wilkinson ... Calibrated

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1650

Scott got an email from a listener about a Sony X900F TV and wants to know if he can improve the picture quality and how. Scott says that there's a new disc from Spiers and Munsel called "UHD-HDR Benchmark." It's a 4K Blu-ray that will enable the user to calibrate and optimize their TV to the best possible performance without having to hire a professional. He also wants to be able to control his TV and his soundbar with the same remote. Scott says that is hard to do since their Sony remote is not a universal remote. Leo says you can maybe turn on CEC and it could control your soundbar.

Scott Wilkinson and the never ending sale

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1648

Black Friday may have passed, but with Cyber Monday just two days away, Scott is back with another round of killer home theater deals. Scott says that Best Buy has been open later this weekend, and the larger TVs are very cheap ... 75" for $750!  Unbelievable deals, sure, but Scott warns that you may end up with compromised performance. If you can't really see the difference, it may not have that huge an impact, but to the educated home theater eye, once you learn what to look for, you can't unsee the flaws. So when it comes to BlackFriday deals, sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

Scott Wilkinson ... Black Friday Deals 2019

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1647

Scott joins Leo after a brief bout with Larengitus, to talk with Leo about this year's Black Friday deals. Scott says that while rumors are that Black Friday deals are for products just made for Black Friday, he says that isn't true at all. They are mostly for overstock, last year's models, and even this year's models. Abe's of Maine has killer deals on OLED TVs, including the LG C9, for 52% off. 65" C9 $1750.

In the speaker category, the Sony Core SSCS3 and the CS5 Bookshelf are 50% off at Best Buy. You can even buy a Sony Atmos system for half off. Klipsh is also 50% off.

Why can't I use my TIVO with a cable card?

Tivo

Episode 1645

Gary from Rockford, IL

Gary got a TIVO Bolt six months ago that uses a cable card, but it's now stuck in "guided setup" with his zip being wrong. How can he reset it? Leo suspects that particular Bolt is defective, perhaps with a faulty hard drive. But Leo replaced his, and it's wasn't the hard drive. So the next option is the power supply. But it sounds like the Bolt isn't all that reliable.

But Mike B in the chatroom says that your cable card may not be correctly configured. Go to your cable store and either ask for a new one or repair that card to your account.